Desert Find: 1975 Maserati Bora

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Fine Italian craftsmanship is often admired, and sometimes isn’t praised at all. This Maserati Bora is a mix in between the two. This desert Bora has seen better days, but the body and chassis are in solid shape. There looks to be enough left to make the car a roller, being a good starting point for a restoration candidate, or a surrogate “kit car” rolling shell with a drivetrain of your choice. The seller is asking $35,000 for this Bora with a non-salvage title and other various parts not pictured. Find it here on craigslist out of Los Angeles, California.

maserati bora 3

This Bora chassis looks relatively clean and rust free. The desert climate has treated it well. It is not apparent what happened to this car, but we are sure it would be an interesting story to hear. The seller has stated the car does not have a salvage title, and with no major damage we would guess that the original mechanicals failed leaving a large price tag for repair.

maserati bora 4

As stated earlier, there appears to be enough of this old Italian to make it into a roller. Although the price tag is steep for many of us for a kit car chassis, we think it would make an excellent resto-mod.  You could have the cool Italian styling of the Bora, without the Mechanical issues the Bora was plagued with. For instance, you could have a brake system that uses standard brake fluid instead of mineral oil! Instead of a costly Italian engine and transmission, you could transplant a Chevrolet LS-x engine of your choice. A bit blasphemous, but it could be a cool possibility for this chassis, versus its continual desert hibernation. We would be more inclined to keep a standard engine, if the original engine and transmission was with this car.

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We think this Bora has possibilities, it would make a good restoration candidate, or an excellent kit car/resto-mod for someone. The looks are exotic, and the engine and transmission go in the right place. What do you think the fate of this Bora should be? What would you do with this Desert find if you got your hands on it?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. RandyS

    looks like rattle can red

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  2. Sean M.

    Like the box truck next to it.

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  3. Blindmarc

    Imagine the stories it could tell……

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  4. Kevin Harper

    Looks like every usable part has been stripped and all you are left with is the carcass. It is a shame as that does not look terribly bad.
    I think that the seller has a comma in the wrong place as it should be wOrth about 3,500.00 dollars and not 35,000.0 dollars. To me it would be worth about 350 dollars as nice wall art.

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  5. Alan

    Shoulda set it on fire while they were at it

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  6. Howard A. Howard AMember

    This is the silliest one yet. I suppose it has 9,000 original miles too.

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  7. Frankie

    Did you say the owner has been sitting out in the sun all these years? Or was it the car?

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  8. Larry Brantingham

    Someone on another site suggested it had burned. Sure looks like it – notice the coil spring. In that case, even what’s left probably isn’t any good. BTW “plagued with?”. Sounds like another Internet meme that just keeps being repeated. Actually, Boras and Maseratis in general were considered some of the most reliable of the exotics in their day. The Citroen hydraulic system was used on a couple of million cars with no notable reliability problems. Boras were considered to be one of the few supercars that actually had brakes to match the performance – read the old reviews. Mineral oil not only has a higher boiling point than brake fluid, it’s non-hygroscopic, so it keeps that boiling point. People think the system is complex, but relative to today’s cars, it’s dead simple.

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    • Dave Wright

      I drove older Maseraties about the time these were built. The parts manager in Modina was Mr Bignoli, I asked him one time about the Merak and Boara cars……….he told me that he couldn’t keep parts in stock even to cover warranty issues with them. Everything touched by Citroen was “poisoned Junk”

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      • Larry Brantingham

        “Poisoned junk” – Sounds like he might have had just a bit of bias! That’s odd because it sure doesn’t fit the experience of current owners (including me) or any of the old reviews I’ve read. There were problems with people putting brake fluid into the system, which definitely will trash it. However, there have been a couple million Citroens – and a few Rolls Royces – running around with the stuff since 1955, so it can not have been all that bad. There are people even now who think the Citroen parts somehow degrade the cars. They’re apparently unaware of just how much of the older cars came off OEM parts shelves.

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      • Dave Wright

        Mr Bignoli was the head parts man at the factory………I used to deal with him because he was the only one that spoke English. He had been at Maserati over 20 years and loved my Mistral.

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  9. Ed Willaims

    Mechanical Failure or maybe stolen and stripped somewhere in L.A.? Could be !

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    • Howard A. Howard AMember


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  10. DolphinMember

    Almost any price paid for this is money down the drain if what you want to end up with is a whole, driveable car. It’s a hulk in the desert because someone has already removed and likely sold the useable parts off it, and left it out in the desert.

    This is like that burned Ferrari hulk that was on BF a few months back that was missing most of its parts too. You would spend literally years looking for everything you would need to get either the Ferrari or this Bora back on the road, and the cost would be more than the cost of a running car because good used parts for exotics like these bring sky high prices.

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  11. john albera

    Over priced? Yes. But for the right price and as the start of an exotic hot rod build I think it would be cool. LS motor, Porsche transaxle , racing seats and a cage would make a wild and unusual street or track car. I would swap that for my mid v8 corvair any day.

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    • Doug Towsley

      I agree with John A. Once the reality of the market set in, and a realistic price this is an intriguing project. Window glass would be a problem but there is race car laminates that could do in a pinch. The extra front clip looks great to me. Resto-mod, Race car tribute type… I would be interested in seeing what the other parts mentioned would be. Nobody is talking about that. Im full up on projects, but I think this is a cool find. Good posting.

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  12. stillrunners

    with Ed….broke down on some one with money….they said they be back…..

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  13. Steve B

    Ad now has no price, says “best offer”.

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    • Howard A. Howard AMember

      Awww, do you think we hurt their feelings?

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  14. alabee

    I bet the A/C needs a charge.

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  15. Mark S

    $1500.00 for the shell. I’d then put a 455 cid. Tornado engine / trans and front suspension into the rear of this shell. I’d then install the front suspension out of a camero. Id then find some seats and build an interiors Around it. the expensive part is going to be putting glass back in it. This would make it into quite the monster.

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  16. Alan

    I do laugh when i see the Citreon suspension system getting– erm,– talked about in a negative fashion, fuess what top of thecrange BMW and Bentleys use? I drove Xantia for years, loved the suspension, had the odd sphere fail, but nothing too bad, it was like driving your favourite, armchair, The bora, its toast though

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  17. Doyler

    Not at this price. God I can’t wait for the current bubble to be over.

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  18. Kralik

    This looks a lot like the place selling the Stuarti Sonata a few months ago.

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  19. Claus Graf

    Put the body on a Chevy Blazer frame, 42″ tires and go muddin’!!!!

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  20. AMCFAN

    If you don’t have a bead roller or CNC machine better add those to your list of parts. You will need those and who knows what else to make all the missing items this hulk needs.

    That is after you add your choice of custom chassis and driveline. Reality check. Not likely now is it? Besides, what would you have when you were done?…..or would it ever be done??

    One thing is for certain. This car will remain frozen in time in this state as long as the seller stands tall on his price. Even if you were given it for free you would end up upside down quicker than this thing burned. If you have the resources and this is your poison more power to you.

    I say cut the top off and make a custom pool table or bed for the man cave!

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